Door County Living Early Summer 2019 – Volume 17 Issue 1

After the Melt

It’s been a while since the earth was free of snow. 

As we prepare to send this issue to press, there are spots of it in the shade, and remnants of big piles are slowly melting. We all long for the summer sun and warmth. We can feel it coming. The trees don’t have leaves yet, but their branches are fuzzy with buds; you can hear the faint sound of the peepers as the earth thaws; and the robins are singing earlier every day.

The cycle of seasons is nothing new, but every year this place goes through its own renaissance. When the blanket of  winter is thrown aside, there are always new discoveries to make. The awakening is slow, but once the county has wiped the sand out of its eyes — and off its roads — there is so much to see and do. 

The staff of Door County Living has made discoveries of its own over the last few months, and we reveal some of them to you in the following pages. There are stories of artists, big boats, restoration, a visit from a celebrity, natural wonder and opportunity.

The stories have all inspired us; we hope they do the same for you. Winter is pretty much gone; spring will be here and gone before you know it; and summer is just around the corner. Try to soak it all in — it all goes away so fast. 

Thanks for reading. It’s time to turn the  page.


David Eliot


In this issue

  • ‘The Sage of Shivering Sands’

    Here comes Joe Mardin To mend your wares that are wore. He’ll fix one hole in nothing flat And put in a couple more. Door County newspaper editors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries loved sharing stories of a man by the name of Joe Mardin. He was also known as “Wildcat” Joe […]

  • Ron Schweigert and Flying Tractor Farm

    When the White Gull Inn needed baby kale in November and December for its holiday dinners, owner Meredith Coulson-Kanter called Ron Schweigert of Flying Tractor Farm. And Schweigert delivered. “As a restaurant [owner], I want to use good-quality ingredients that are grown as responsibly as possible,” Coulson-Kanter said.“We definitely make menu decisions based on what […]

  • DIY in Door County: A new wave of do-it-yourself hits the peninsula

    Retailers across the country are facing serious challenges with the rise of online shopping, and brick-and-mortar shopping has seen a drastic decline during the past decade. At the same time, millenials — the largest generation of Americans — are choosing to spend more on experiences than things. That makes it a daunting time for sellers […]

  • Tim Graul: Keeping the World Afloat

    Retired boat designer keeps his hand in as a consultant Growing up on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River in the industrial town of Alton, Illinois, Tim Graul had boats on his brain from a young age. “I always liked boats,” he said. “In the margins of my notebooks and school papers, I got […]

  • Restoring Dunes Lakes

    Conservation partnership restores a hidden gem Some of the participants in Celebrate Water Door County’s Water Summit, to be held June 4–6, will take a kayak trip into the little-known Dunes Lake: the largest inland lake in Door County that’s directly connected to Lake Michigan.  They will travel to the Town of Sevastopol, parking just […]

  • The Most Maddening Game

    You see it in every sporting arena. It’s just the truth. Maddening as can be. They’re just better. Better at this and better at that. Better at something you’re good at. Infinitely better at something you’re bad at. Just better. It’s one of the perpetual truths I’ve learned covering golf for half a decade. And […]

  • Featured Accommodation: East Shore Cottages

    In the 1920s, East Shorewood Cottages, on the southeast shore of Kangaroo Lake, were the vacation site for a Chicago family of six headed by Charlie Miller. He and his son, George, and two of George’s high school classmates built the first cabin on five acres purchased from a neighbor for two or three dollars […]

  • Rhubarb: Spring’s Early ‘Vegetable Fruit’

    Rhubarb is a vegetable that originated in China about 4,000 years ago and was originally valued for its medicinal qualities. When it made its way to Europe during the spice-trade era, its value was on par with rubies and pearls. In Europe, rhubarb was first cultivated as a decorative plant, but during the 18th century, […]

  • In Your Glass: The Bloody Mary

    The bloody mary's of Door County are varied and delicious.

  • How Liberty Grove Got Its Name

    According to the National League of Cities, there are 31 municipalities with the word “liberty” in their names. Among them is the Town of Liberty Grove, which was so named by Zacharias T. Morbeck when it became Door County’s sixth organized town in 1859. Morbeck was instrumental in forming the town after he was defeated […]

  • When Clay Meets Fire

    In few places on Earth do the four classical elements of nature — earth, air, water and fire — collide in as beautiful, indestructible and spectacular a form as in a potter’s studio. Only there can a human manipulate the elements into forms that serve, as the late British studio potter Bernard Leach asserted, “the […]

  • The Week Bob Hope Called Egg Harbor Home

    When former Wisconsin Badgers basketball star Sam Dekker wed ESPN reporter Olivia Harlan last summer at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club, it set the peninsula abuzz with rumors of star-athlete sightings. Back in the winter of 2009, the presence of Emmy-winning actor Tony Shalhoub and young star Katie Aselton shooting the film Feed the Fish had […]